Hobbico Work

For the past year and a half or so I have worked at Hobbico in Champaign, Illinois. As of this week I am no longer a full-time employee there. I have dropped down to part tome to take classes at parkland College leading up to my move to Georgia this fall..

Since I started at Hobbico, I haven’t posted to this blog as often as I would have liked. Certainly, I have posted some as I have worked on my drawing skills, but my new animated output has dwindled to basically nothing. At work, though, I have produced a lot of new videos. I thought this might be a good occasion to post some of the work I’ve made at Hobbico in reverse chronological order.

This is my newest video up online. While I wouldn’t say it is the absolute strongest thing I’ve ever made, it is the first piece I’ve made at work with our new 3D Animation software. It has been incredibly exciting and fulfilling. THe days at work that have been largely taken up with that sort of work seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye.

The second of my most recent videos. This one pretty obviously centers around just one idea. I think I executed that idea pretty well, to keep an otherwise really boring video of someone pushing buttons, a little more exciting. This video gave me fits in its creation and rendering inside of After Effects, but taught me a valuable lesson about that particular piece of software.

This video promotes a fairly high-end (I think) R/C radio system. I tried to implement a simple, clean graphical style that contrasted a lot with the other radio videos I’ve seen.

I had a lot of fun putting this one together. I recently won a license of the Element 3D Plug-in from Video Copilot in a random drawing. It really extended what I was able to do with After Effects. I used it in  this video to create the opening animation and all of the titles in the video. I’m also pretty proud of the compositing on the sneaky box at the end.

I just did the opening logo animation for this. I’m happy with how it turned out though.

Overall this video is fine enough. I had a lot of fun with the little cartoon chipmunk though.

This one isn’t as technically complex as some of these have been, but I think it has a really strong style to it. It’s been great as I’ve grown in confidence and competence to focus more on a look and a feel than simply pulling off a particular technique successfully.

A promo for a RC event in Indiana last year. I actually did this one outside of work as a freelancer.

In a podcast I recently listened to, Nick Campbell of Greyscale Gorilla, said you can tell you’re making good progress if you’re sick of the stuff you made six months ago. I guess it’s a good sign then that I don’t love this as much as I used to.

I’ll stop there. There are a lot more videos I put together on the Hobbico YouTube Channel but this post is long enough already.

I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have had at Hobbico. I have great coworkers and am given an incredible amount of freedom to learn new techniques and try new things.

I know I tend to start the years off pretty strong on the blog (resolution style) but I’ve got a lot of change coming this year so I should also have a lot more to write about.



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Apartment Before

We’ve decided to try to simplify our apartment somewhat.  I can’t say this is a new objective but I think we’re both in the right frame of mind to remove excess things from our apaartment / lives.

Anyway, I decided to take this as an opportunity to take some pictures with our new camera and try out a panorama stitching program. I ultimately want to learn to make HDRi 360 X 180 Panoramas that can be used as environments in 3D software.

I just used a trial version of the software, so please pardon the watermarks in the images along with the stitching errors that I didn’t bother with:

Our living Room:


Our Office (the primary target of this weekends organizational endeavors):


And our Bedroom:


My ulterior motive in posting these pictures is that it will hold us accountable to making things great so we can post the after pictures.

Stay Tuned!

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A drawing with some shading.

Here’s another recent drawing I did. I used this partly as an exercise in lighting and shading.

I had a very clear story in mind when I drew this – one that I may even develop into an animated short eventually. What, if anything, does this image bring to mind for you?

I had a little trouble getting the lighting to look right on the two half cones of the foreground figure. Lacking any good way to make a real model to observe, I turned to a 3D application:

It kind of felt like cheating, but I decided to just call it resourcefulness.

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I’ve been drawing a lot more lately. I’m making my way through this book:

It’s fascinating. It spends about four chapters on neuroscience before it even gets to drawing at all. I sat down and started reading it at a Barnes & Noble when I had a great deal of time to kill but nothing to draw with or draw on. When I got home I promptly  requested it from the library.

Anyway, I’m only about a third of the way through but the impact on my ability to transfer what I see to paper has increased dramatically, if I do say so myself.

Here’s one I did a couple of nights ago. I set up a lamp and an action figure on our coffee table like so:


In a couple of hours I had this:

I have a whole bunch of these Marvel Legends action figures that I bought during college.  Nightcrawler already hangs out above our living room window, so he’ll probably happen soon. I also brought Apocalypse and Storm back form my mom and dad’s house to be my models. I’ve got a couple other things to show too,

First though, I need to finish dusting the cobwebs off the old blog.

Also, oddly enough, all of this drawing has made me acutely aware of the fact that I’m rapidly coming up on four years since my last eye exam and my glasses are just not cutting it anymore.



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A Sad Bird



This forlorn fowl ended up somewhere between Big Bird:


and Kevin:



Anyway, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted but I’ve got some great stuff done. I have a couple of acrylic paintings to take pictures of (one of them I still need to finish), a logo animation that I did for someone at work and I’ll have a new reel or two up soon. Oh! and a pretty great vector grasshopper.

Isn’t that bird cute?

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Muppet-y Fox Thing Head

I watched a tutorial on making realistic looking hair in photoshop today. I came home and applied it. I really had no idea what this would turn into when I started, which is good, because I had no idea what I was going to draw for today.

Here’s the tutorial, to give credit where credit is due:


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This nervous fellow took a long time but was fun to do, I made him in Photoshop. Things have been kind of slow at work for the past couple of weeks, so I spent a lot of time watching online tutorials. I came across a couple for digital painting. As they weren’t quite as relevant to my actual job I didn’t spend a lot of time on them but they got me excited about getting back to work on drawing and painting for the blog.

I also watched a couple of videos of an interview with animator / illustrator / musician Dan Gies courtesy of ae.tutsplus.com:

Part 1:

Part 2:

and his Tumblr – http://danielgies.tumblr.com/

I really like his work and attitude. It’s always nice to step back and get some new inspiration.

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